Calls have been made for upgrading of the A1 between Dunbar and the English Border for many years.

The East Lothian Council hosted A1 Action Group has brought together council officers, councillors, MSPs, community councillors, Transport Scotland and the contractors (both Amey and BEAR) over that time. Community representatives from East Lothian and Berwickshire have regularly expressed concerns about the inadequacy of the remaining single-carriageway stretches and dangerous junctions like Belhaven, Cement Works, Skateraw, Torness, Innerwick as well as Reston in Berwickshire.

At the most recent meeting in October 2021, site visits were promised to junctions of concern. Such visits are still to take place. As yet, there has been no intimation of a future action group meeting.

In considering planning applications, the pressures of new developments (housing, retail, industrial) on the roads network including the A1 and access points to it have regularly been cited as reasons for objection. Only this week (June 7), concerns were raised (albeit disregarded by committee members) at planning committee about the dangerous Skateraw junction where there are no slip roads and traffic enters directly into a two-way 60mph highway. Turning into busy traffic, particularly towards Edinburgh, can be difficult, more so when the traffic entering the A1 is slow like HGVs or agricultural machinery.

Road safety will be a major consideration for developments in the pipeline including SP Energy Networks converter station at Oxwellmains, DunBear Park and proposals for housing and golf infrastructure at Dunbar Golf Club.

There has been some mention of a roundabout at the cement works junction by Councillor Hampshire but that has not been confirmed by East Lothian Council or Transport Scotland as an option. Such a structure would need major financial investment.

It is therefore concerning to learn that Scottish Finance Secretary Kate Forbes has suggested (The Times, June 9) that there is not enough money available for the Scottish Government to meet its commitments towards infrastructure requirements including road improvement projects.

It is understood that the Scottish Government is pushing on its climate change agenda in areas like increased options for walking and cycling. However, the A1 is a major cross-Border route for freight as well as cars, buses etc. The stretch from Dunbar and into Berwickshire must be upgraded as a priority before further road users are injured or killed.

Jacquie Bell (Mrs)